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Archive for the ‘Columns’ Category

No one is innocent.
– Ronnie Biggs

In language that mirrors dialogue from The Walking Dead, we decry the destructive rise of narcissism. We write self-help books on how to identify, avoid, manage and escape the narcissists among us. We refine our diagnostic standards for narcissism and we study our navel-gazing young people.

We re-diagnose past dictators, mass murderers and influential leadersthrough the newly polished lens of narcissism. We talk about our whole culture as a kind of Petri dish in which narcissists happily grow, and in which the rest of us who are not infected are at constant risk of harm.

Narcissism is the current favoured scapegoat for our interpersonal and social ills.

There can be little doubt that narcissism as we have defined it is on the increase, and has been for some decades. A search of everything from song lyrics to peer-reviewed journal articles shows both an increasingly self-focused social and individual psychology and an exponential interest in how to manage this new-found pathology.

You can read the rest of this article here at theconversation

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GOODNESS gracious, are we still asking this question? It appears we are. And why wouldn’t we be? There’s simply no end to the confusing messages about first date sex.

Some are saying just do it! Be free of the shackles of old-school sexual shame. Others say don’t do it, you’ll put them off with your lasciviousness. Be hot, but don’t be easy.

It’s fraught territory for everyone, this first date sex business, whatever your gender or orientation. You’re supposed to wait, you’re supposed to persuade, you’re supposed to dither and consult the experts, you’re supposed to dive in and be bold. Be a lady, be a man, be open, keep your cards close to your chest. Anything but be the person you really are. Anything but feel what you’re actually feeling.

Sex is a game, we’re told. Dating is a game. And what do we do with games? We try to win them.

But if you make the mistake of seeing sex as some kind of competitive sport, you might miss the fact that your date is actually supposed to be on your side.

You can read the rest of the article here

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HAVE you noticed how narcissism is the topic du jour? We just can’t stop talking about it. Like kale, it’s taken over all the self-help menus.

If you’ve been reading some of the pieces about malignant self love that have sprung up everywhere and feeling a little cringey because some of this stuff is a bit familiar, please take heart.

Or if someone dear to you has been gently trying to point out that it sometimes feels like it’s all about you, don’t panic. If you do suffer from narcissism, it’s not because you chose to. Whether you’re a little narcissistic, or you’re suffering a full-blown case of self-absorption, the seeds were sown a very long time ago.

The signs can be hard to recognise in yourself, but there are a few key things that in combination are particular to narcissism. Do these three things ring a bell for you?

You can read the rest of the article here

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TAKE a good look at your friend. In person, face to face. Then take a look at your friend on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Do the two pictures match up?

If they’re actually human, chances are that your pal’s online profile is different in some key ways to their in person real self. Given two minutes warning of someone coming over, most of us will clear our crap out of the lounge room. We want to make a decent impression. Pretend we’re always tidy.

And online, the opportunities for a little profile tidying are endless. This is not news to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock since the 90s. The problem is, if you’re trying to find love, all the airbrushing of your real, messy self might help you find people who are happy to visit, but it’s not going to help you find someone who wants to stay the distance. If you want to find real love online, it’s time to stop treating yourself like an AirBnb.

You can read the rest of the article here

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IF YOU found your partner’s name on the Ashley Madison leak this week, it’s natural that you’ll be asking some serious questions.

If it turns out that yes, your partner was using the website to actively have an affair (and this won’t be the case for many), you’ll then be asking yourself: Should I stay with a cheater?

For both members of the couples affected, their struggles will be marked by an increased risk of all kinds of terrible behaviour as they grapple with the shock, hurt and humiliation of public shaming and possible betrayal. The Ashley Madison hackwill have some terrible consequences for those named and their partners and experts have speculated that we can expect not only separations, but also suicides. This is just not a moral issue and not just a privacy issue; it’s also a public health issue.

Public humiliation pushes the shame button for all of us and shame drives us to either retreat or attack to protect ourselves, so for the couples dealing with this hacking fallout the repair work is going to be extra hard.

You can read the rest of the article here

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IT’S easy to think it will never happen to you.

But one in three women will experience violence from a man they know. And if you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship, you’ll know it doesn’t start out that way. It can feel as if you never saw it coming, or that when you began to see what was happening, it felt too late, too hard or too embarrassing to try to get out.

The big waving red flags are easy to spot, but by the time those flags are flying it’s much more difficult and dangerous to find your way to the door.

So if you’re just beginning a relationship, here are some warning signs you can spot early enough to make a quick exit.

You can read the rest of the article here

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PEANUT the whippet cross is on his last legs. He has a tumour behind his eye, and the vets say it’ll only be a few months at most and that they’ll do what they can to make him comfortable.

He’s almost sixteen and it’s been that many years since he came home as a tiny runt-of-the-litter present for a girl turning five who looked up when he was introduced to her and said “he is my favourite” and took him straight into her room and under the covers where he’s spent many of his nights since.

He used to chase the ball until he passed out, and now he carries it carefully around the park, dashes after a few small throws, lies down a bit, and then carries it the rest of the way. He used to be able to spot a rabbit from an impossible distance and now he stares lovingly into cupboards and mirrors for no apparent reason. All of his senses are retreating, and even friands have lost their appeal. He is on his way out of our lives.

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You can read the rest of the article here at the herald sun.

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